Harlem world ... jennifer tonetti spellman ny street photographer


I pass by it every time I go into Manhattan but this time, I got off the train.

The history. The people. The culture. The faith. The color. Seriously, the color.

You truly never know a part of the city until you walk it.

You smell the smells, see those living there and hear some of the stories. Most notably the Lenox Lounge, a bar that opened in 1939 and was home to Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and other jazz legends. People stop, stare and talk.

A rarity in the fast paced city.

Take the tour with me.  Welcome to Harlem.


Harlem, thank you.


snow day ... jennifer tonetti spellman westchester county NY children's photographer

Fist shoot of the New Year, first massive snow storm of the New Year and first time filming this family.

What a great way to kick off 2017.

Also, I'd be remiss to note this family is all about music, which makes my heart so happy. There was a constant soundtrack in this shoot hence the dancing busting out literally at every turn and I will admit I think I lost a few shots from laughing so hard.

Come inside...

a typical saturday ... jennifer tonetti spellman westchester county ny children's photographer

When I showed up at their door there was a serious game going on between Dad and son, and as always the littlest mama in the house mama was hopping from one thing to another- from getting her boots ready to go outside, to playing with her dollhouse, to glamming herself and Mom up- she is such a live wire.

In fact, what it is bout me that hypes kids up I will never understand but man do I welcome it with open arms! The freedom of being a kid and jumping off of tables etc. is so freeing. Glad I promote that in them (though not so sure Dad felt the same when his little girl leaped into his lap- ouch!)

As we were about to head outside, the mail came and she tore out of the front door- apparently Mom said she's got a special relationship with the mailman. Love.

When my client asked if we could include her husband's mother's vintage bike in the mix, she did it with slight hesitation- knowing I'm not a prop shooter. But this wasn't a prop- this was a slice of awesome history and I was happy to include Grandma into this fun loving family mix.

All in all, just a typical Saturday for this fam...




Every year when I visit Morgan, I wonder what her Mom will greet me with regarding news of her battle with Dravet Syndrome. Dravet Syndrome is a form of childhood epilepsy. Seizures and meds and constant care are a staple of Morgan and her family's life.

I started filming Morgan before she was even 1 year old. Her Mom's words still, after all these years, are burned in my brain: 'Just get a shot of her with her eyes open. It's all I want.' Reason this was so difficult was because of the massive amounts of drugs Morgan was on to try and control her seizures.

I remember thinking 'My gosh, please let me be able to capture this, PLEASE.'  Thankfully I was able to and our relationship continued to grow year after year.

Now Morgan is receiving alternative care so it's not as challenging to capture her eyes open but we still work real hard, both me and Mom to ensure her spirit is captured.

And the big news on Morgan? School! A few days a week Morgan gets on a bus and away she goes to experience the world. Unreal.

After I showed Morgan's Mom Kate this session, she wrote me and said this was her favorite session ever and we both thought the same thing since she seemed so super aware I was there... 'What is Morgan thinking? It seems like she KNOWS now that the camera is on her!' 

We may never know what Morgan thinks when I shoot, but I know my mind is always focused in on how strong she and her Mom and Dad are and how blessed I am to be invited back each year to capture her true warrior spirit.